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Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:22 PM

Incremental change - Is it viable, effective, supportable for LGBT equal rights?

American history has a number of prominent examples of incremental changes in recognizing and establishing equal rights for specific segments of our national society. And they are on-going, unfinished in many aspects. Women, African-Americans, the disabled among others. Progress has been undeniable. Legislation has been enacted. Some are turning points in the process. Yet more remains to be accomplished.

One thing often overlooked, imo is the inevitable process of change in the cultural context. Women aren't inferior due to their gender, African-Americans aren't inferior due to their race, the disabled aren't inferior due to their medical conditions.

I think the same holds true overall for LGBT communities. Change is inevitable, yet it may be incremental.

What do you all think?

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Reply Incremental change - Is it viable, effective, supportable for LGBT equal rights? (Original post)
pinto Feb 2013 OP
shraby Feb 2013 #1
pinto Feb 2013 #2
dballance Feb 2013 #3
pinto Feb 2013 #8
Vanje Feb 2013 #4
Vanje Feb 2013 #5
pinto Feb 2013 #6
pinto Feb 2013 #7
Old Union Guy Feb 2013 #9

Response to pinto (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:30 PM

1. Nothing as important as human rights should be incremental. If a person is a human

any and all rights making them all equal should be automatic and unassailable.

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Response to shraby (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:54 PM

2. Agree. Yet in practice over the years change has been incremental.

I think that holds legally, culturally and personally. I'm unaware of a single, sudden Aha! moment. I'd guess there are some personal instances, yet in the bigger picture change takes time, imo.

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:16 PM

3. When We Left the Civil Rights of African Americans to Incremental Change It Was a Disaster

We had a patchwork of conflicting laws across the nation defining how a group of humans could be treated. That patchwork of laws included all the segregationist laws that required "separate but equal" schools that were separate but not equal. Segregated buses, segregated water fountains, segregated rest rooms, diners and hotels; and other places that just clearly posted "NO BLACKS signs." This did tend to be predominant in the South. The same African American who would get arrested for sitting down at a lunch counter in the South could go to the North and sit next to a white person at a lunch counter there.

African Americans didn't obtain equality under the law by an incremental approach that let each state decide. They obtained equality under the law because the US congress passed the Equal Rights Act of 1964.

While the incremental approach for LGBT people is having some success there are still many, many states that have already passed amendments to their constitutions that prohibit same-sex marriage. Getting these repealed is a herculean effort in most cases. We need a national effort to enact a law that will become the supreme law of the land.

No, I do not think the incremental approach is the way to equal rights for LGBT people. I think it's the right approach to show the US Congress that the people of this nation are bending their arc of morals toward justice, which means equal rights for LGBT people. Perhaps incremental progress we have achieved and will continue to achieve will, one day, give the congress courage to do what's right. They could do what's right by amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and transgendered people or pass a bill pertaining specifically to equal rights for LGBT people.

I have no delusions this will happen soon. But I never even considered the possibility a US President would speak so strongly in favor of equal rights for LGBT people in an inaugural address before Jan. 21, 2013. So hopefully I'm wrong and the arc will bend toward justice for LGBT people sooner that I thought.

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Response to dballance (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:14 AM

8. Amending the Civil Rights Act would seem the most logical and simplest approach.

Yet agree, Congress is no where close to that at all...at this point in time.

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:20 PM

4. Incremental change is how it happens

but incremental change does not occur without a few sharp-toothed terriers nipping at some heels.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:24 PM

5. PS. States rights aint it!

Tell me how letting individual states decide, ever did anyone's civil rights any good.
I dare ya.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:10 AM

6. Agree. It won't be a done deal till it's done federally.

As great as it is to see some individual states affirm equality, federal action will seal the thing for all Americans. By "incremental" I had a federal context in mind.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:11 AM

7. Good point.

ACT UP is a good example.

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:41 AM

9. How incremental is incremental?

It's not possible to get everything at once. Just don't lose sight of the goal or be suckered into infinite gradualism.

For example: Women's right to vote was respected in many states before the constitutional amendment.

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